Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate bone healing in rabbit critical-sized calvarial defects using two different synthetic scaffold materials, solid biodegradable bioactive glass and tricalcium phosphate granules alongside solid and particulated autogenous bone grafts.
Material and methods: Bilateral full thickness critical-sized calvarial defects were created in 15 New Zealand white adult male rabbits. Ten defects were filled with solid scaffolds made of bioactive glass or with porous tricalcium phosphate granules. The healing of the biomaterial-filled defects was compared at the 6 week time point to the healing of autologous bone grafted defects filled with a solid cranial bone block in 5 defects and with particulated bone combined with fibrin glue in 10 defects. In 5 animals one defect was left unfilled as a negative control. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) was used to analyze healing of the defects.
Results: Micro-CT analysis revealed that defects filled with tricalcium phosphate granules showed new bone formation in the order of 3.89 (SD 1.17)% whereas defects treated with solid bioactive glass scaffolds showed 0.21 (SD 0.16)%, new bone formation. In the empty negative control defects there was an average new bone formation of 21.8 (SD 23.7)%.
Conclusions: According to findings in this study, tricalcium phosphate granules have osteogenic potential superior to bioactive glass, though both particulated bone with fibrin glue and solid bone block were superior defect filling materials.
Keywords: bone regeneration; bone substitutes; bone transplantation; skull.